The NRPA Innovation Awards recognize and honor the latest advancements in the field of parks and recreation. These awards showcase the inspiring park and recreation agencies that have improved and empowered their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation, and social equity.
Applications for the 2020 awards will open on January 6, 2020.
Innovation in Health Award*
This award recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that fosters a culture of health in their community.
2019 Awardee: City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation, Port St. Lucie, FL
Who should apply: Agencies that have to lead an initiative that has addressed a critical health need for their community such as getting residents more active, improving access to healthy food, or implementing policies that encourage healthy behavior. If you have made a difference in the health of your community, you should apply!
Innovation in Conservation Award*
This award recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that creates localized solutions for addressing global or regional environmental challenges.
2019 Awardee: Metroparks Toledo for Howard Marsh Metropark, Toledo, OH
Who should apply: Agencies that have addressed a critical environmental need in their community and have helped educate residents along the way. A critical need could be anything from habitat preservation, green infrastructure, innovative nature programs, water restoration projects and much, much more. All innovative ideas need to apply!
Innovation in Social Equity Award*
This award recognizes a park and recreation agency leading an innovative project that improves access to the benefits of local parks and recreation for everyone in the community, no matter the color of their skin, age, income level or ability.
2019 Awardee: City of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita, CA
Who should apply: Agencies that have found an innovative way to improve access for all to a great park through things such as creative programming, community outreach and more. The sky’s the limit!
Innovation in Park Design Award*
This award recognizes a park and recreation agency that manages a unique park or facility that embraces innovative technology, strategies or programs to improve their community.
2019 Awardee: Three Rivers Park District, Plymouth, MN
Who should apply: Agencies that have designed a great park tailored to their community’s needs and dreams. If your project showcases an innovative process or outcome, you should apply!
NRPA Best in Innovation Award
This award recognizes the best of the best in park and recreation innovation. The winners of the four innovation categorical awards will face-off in a public vote to determine which one of the four should receive the Best in Innovation Award. NRPA accepted votes for the 2019 Best in Innovation Award from June 1, 2019 at 12:01 am EDT until June 7, 2019 at 11:59 pm EDT.
2018 Awardee: Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Alhambra, CA
Digital Badges for Innovation Award Winners
NRPA is now offering Digital Badges for Innovation Award winners. Digital Badges provide professionals and agencies a way to be recognized for their achievements while offering others information on these accomplishments. To access the digital badges for Innovation Awards and details on how to use them, please log into your NRPA profile.